Tag Archives: Library

Blogger Spotlight with Brandee Price @BookwormBrandee

#BloggerSpotlight

Today, I am thrilled to put into the spotlight the fabulous Brandee Price, who blogs as Bookworm Brandee!

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Who are you and why are you blogging?
I’m Brandee, aka Bookworm Brandee. I’m a wife and a mom to 3. I’m an avid reader and I chose blogging as an outlet – a way to share my passion for books with others who are just like me. 🙂

Where’s your favourite reading nook and why?
During the cooler months, I can be found in front of the woodburning stove, curled up on the love seat. When warmer weather arrives, I’m outdoors in my favorite Adirondack chair, under the shade of pine and fir trees.

What’s your most treasured possession?
Besides my kids…my library. 🙂

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Who or what would need to accompany you on a desert island?
In real life, my family and my ereaders. In my fantasy life, my favorite book boyfriends – yes, multiples are required to fend off boredom 😉 – and my ereaders, of course!

Top ten favourite books of all times (any genre)?
Ooh, this is hard.

  • Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
  • Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
  • Forever by Judy Blume
  • Clutch by JA Huss
  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
  • Surrender by Pamela Clare
  • Rock Chick by Kristen Ashley

What’s your favourite cocktail or alternative tipple?
I’m a beer girl. My favorite is probably Sierra Nevada’s Kellerweis…ooh, or Avery’s White Rascal.

What’s the thing you regret most not having done in your life so far?
Not having traveled to Europe!!

If you could marry a celebrity, who would it be?
Colin Firth – and he’d have to wear that white shirt to the wedding 😉

You’re asked to a pot luck dinner party. What do you bring?
Depending on the time of year, an Asian salad, pinwheels (cream cheese, green chilis, and black olives rolled into tortillas), or pumpkin chocolate chip muffins.

Where’s your favourite place in the whole wide world?
My home. Or the mountains in general. I live in the mountains but am fond of mountains in other states as well.

You’re talking to a hopeless romantic (me). But do you believe in love at first sight? Why?
I don’t always like how it’s done in a story, but I do believe in love at first sight. I believe in fate, so I believe in that lightning strike when eyes meet across a crowded room.

Unbeknownst to you, your best friend has entered you for a talent show, and suddenly you’re on a stage in front of 5,000 people. What’s your talent, and would you be voted through to the next round?
I would sell them my latest read. 🙂 I can wax poetic about books like nobody’s business. But it probably wouldn’t help me advance to the next round. *ha*

Fabulous interview, thank you so much for visiting, Brandee. Can I come to your wedding to the delectable Colin Firth, especially if he’s wearing **that** shirt? And I’d love to read my way through your library… Thanks again, it’s been fabulous to find out a whole lot of new things about you. Rock on! XX 🙂

The REAL highlights of my VIRTUAL book launch

OIt’s just over a week since the launch of Sophie’s Run and I’ve had a little time to catch my breath. It has occurred to me that I enjoyed this second book launch a lot more than my first. Don’t misunderstand me, there was nothing wrong with the launch for Sophie’s Turn, a great time was had by all, the consensus was that it was a rocking party, but. There are a few things I did differently for Sophie’s Run, and they made a huge difference for me.

Making fireworks without seeing the sparkle?

Many authors these days celebrate their book launches online. We use Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads to host our parties, and we have a great time doing so. More importantly, this avenue has the potential to reach thousands of people all over the world.

However, for the author, the event can be a little surreal. There’s so much going on; the Tweets and Facebook comments come flying, you’re glued to the computer for the entire day, barely daring to leave your desk for a toilet break, let alone food. And that’s exhausting. It can feel like you’re creating massive fireworks that you can’t actually see yourself.

The very REAL highlights of my second book launch

So what did I do differently for Sophie’s Run?

I’ve been giving this some thought because the additional things I did weren’t the result of a deliberate strategy. Rather, they were the confluence of all the observation and learning and experience that came to me in the six months between the launches. And here are my three topline thoughts.

A Preview Party

Siren Launch PartySome time in October, I became involved with Siren FM, Lincoln’s first community radio station. Courtesy to the enthusiastic support of the host of the midweek drive show, Alex Lewczuk, I took part in several editions of the show as well as the ‘end of the world’ Mayathon in December. Somewhere along the way, the idea was born that we could celebrate the launch of Sophie’s Run live on air, on the eve of publication. We invited some special guests, we publicized the event ahead of time, and we had a go. It was a new format for the station as well as for me, and we had great fun. To me, that kick-started the launch day proceedings with real fireworks that I could see, feel and–thanks to the podcasts–can still hear today.

A Book Signing

Next, I had this idea of inviting readers to a very short ‘quick-fire’ book signing event at my local library on the actual morning of my launch day. I can tell you, when I had to leave my Facebook party, I frankly thought I was mad. I reassured myself that I would be back within the hour to resume my social media partying.

Launch Library SignIt turned out I was wrong on the timeframe and the madness factor. The event was a huge success, and here’s why. As I had set a half-hour time limit, most people turned up at 10 a.m. on the dot. We had coffee and tea and biscuits, and we chatted. Questions were being asked and before I knew it, there was an animated discussion about what it’s like to be a writer, how writing fits in with being a mum, and more. They asked for a reading; I hadn’t prepared one, but I gave one anyway. Most of my audience bought and walked away with a signed copy of Sophie’s Run. That felt really good. That was real. I had officially launched this book into the world. And ok, it took a little longer than half an hour, but it was worth it!

Chatting with readers all over the world

SWAGLast but not least, I took a slightly different approach to my Facebook party. I asked questions. I had some SWAG to give away, and I ran a few little spot-competitions. I got some fantastic discussion strings going, the most popular being my choice of Chinese takeaway for dinner. And when the fun was over, I got to sit down and write to the readers who won prizes. That, too, was real. In fact, that was absolutely amazingly fantastic.

Writing Readers

So ~ three real things, quick, short activities that made a tremendous difference to how real my virtual book launch felt. If I may be permitted a soppy moment, I’d like to say that I allowed myself to see my own fireworks, and I enjoyed them!

Was it the perfect book launch? Of course not. There are always things you can do different, things you learn, things you need to change.

How will I approach the book launch for Sophie’s Encore in September, you ask? Will I have another radio party? Frankly, I haven’t got a clue right now. I’m letting this come to me and I’ll see what feels right nearer the time. But I’ll be certain to include things that make the launch ‘real’ for me, and for my readers.

What do you think? Can you see this working for you? How do you make your fireworks sparkle for you?

Sign, Author, Sign

Yesterday saw another first in this, my year of authorly firsts. I hosted my first meet-the-author and book signing event. Hooray!

A few weeks ago, I connected with my local librarian, the lovely Karen Waring, and she was extremely enthusiastic about the idea of hosting a local author in one of her libraries, complete with book signing event. We picked a date (20 October) and a place (Welton Library, in Welton-by-Lincoln) and even set a time (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). We were on!

Both of us set to work publicising the event and yesterday morning, I presented myself at 9:50 a.m. to set up shop.

Was I nervous? Of course I was a little nervous. One worry was simply: would anyone turn up? And the second worry was: how would people feel about being invited to buy a book in a library, where they normally come to loan their reading material?

Well, here’s how it went.

Setting Up Shop

Books ~ check. Postcards ~ check. Bookmarks ~ check. Tasty treat ~ check. Visual hooks ~ check (1 book standing up, 1 big poster).

Taking a closer look… yes, I think this is good. Spy the fancy bookmark in the upright copy? This was a publication day present from two very special people and doesn’t it just add panache to the ensemble?

I’m ready… I think!

A big Thank You to my amazing loveahappyending friend, Sheryl Browne. I owe most of the ideas for this display, specifically the visual hooks, getting a copy of my book to stand upright, and the absolute need for a table-cloth (!) to a stellar blogpost she wrote on book signings on the Romaniacs blog. Sheryl, it worked!

The Quiet Before the Storm…

Meet the librarian: give it up for Karen!

Caught sharing a laugh off camera…  Having fun already.

huge Thank You to Karen for her amazing enthusiasm and stellar support. It is outstanding to have a library working so hard at creating a real sense of community and at bringing authors and readers together. I feel honoured and privileged to have made friends and I look forward to many more book signings in libraries up and down the county (and beyond?). You rock!

Thank you also, of course, to Karen’s fellow librarian, Jo, for helping set up, directing people my way, taking photos, printing photos, making cups of tea and generally keeping things ticking over. You ladies are a brilliant team!

…And Action!

Yes! Readers came! My first visitor arrived at just a few minutes after 10 a.m. Witness: my first author signature in a newly-purchased reader’s copy of Sophie’s Turn. Awesome feeling!

That was fun. Let’s have another go…

Of course I’ll sign another!

Meet Some of My Guests

Honestly, I had no idea this would be so much fun! Thank you to everybody who agreed to have their photo taken and let me post it right here on my blog.

And the Verdict?

Obviously, I had a lot of fun. Huge amounts of fun, in fact. I look forward to doing it all again.

Did people come? They certainly did. I barely had a moment’s rest during the three hours. I met some wonderful people and had some fantastically interesting conversations. It was amazing.

Did I sell and sign some books? You already know the answer to that. Yes, I sold some books. Not dozens, and dozens. But more than I dared hope.

Moreover, two of my guests took a copy of Sophie’s Turn out of the library there and then in addition to the copy that had already been borrowed earlier in the week.  There are copies in circulation! And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m told that two or three people requested a loan copy today so there is now a waiting list. My heart sings.

Lessons learned. Was it a perfect event? Probably not. Here’s what I will do differently next time.

1) I will have a proper stand for my huge visual.

2) Wherever possible, I will set myself up in direct line of vision (and walking) of the front entrance. The most important tool I had to draw people into conversation, apart from the librarians’ kind assistance, was eye contact. It’s easier to make eye contact if you’re unmissably in the line of sight; therefore, in future, I will put myself there.

3) I will print out and have available for perusing some of the fabulous reviews that Sophie’s Turn has received. This will get me around the uncomfortable moment of reassuring potential readers that of course Sophie’s Turn is a fantastic read. Instead of bragging, I can just let the reviews do their work. Easy, and obvious (hindsight is always 20-20!).

So this was it. My inaugural book signing event. I am elated, excited and exhausted. I feel very fortunate to have had my first signing event in such a lovely and supportive environment, and with such enthusiastic hosts.

I hope everyone who bought or borrowed my book will enjoy it and spread the word. Thank you. And I look forward to the next event… Karen has some places and dates in mind, and I am in her extremely capable hands.

Rock On! 🙂